Transportation Indicators Highlights - December 2002

Transportation Indicators - Highlights - December 2002

Transportation Indicators
Highlights - December 2002

NOTE: The final issue of this report was December 2002. These reports are provided as a historical reference. A minimal number of indicators are being updated in the White House Economic Statistics Briefing Room.

Due to quality control requirements, transportation indicators in italic were not updated this month and not included in this month's PDF file. However, the transportation indicator is still available in this month's HTML, Excel and CSV files.

Highlights File Formats
Introduction   HTML
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Commercial Aviation
The year 2002 has been one of hardship for the commercial aviation industry due to the combined effects of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and on-going weakness in the economy. The negative impact is most evident in the traffic/capacity and financial indicators for the airlines, with both revenue passenger miles and real net income near historically low values. There have however been some positive indicators: traffic relative to year-ago values has partially rebounded, freight carrier financials have shown improvement, and passengers experienced more on-time flights.
While passenger aviation continues to rebound from the lows reached in September 2001, domestic passenger miles on large U.S air carriers in June 2002 were still 6 percent below levels of June 2001. International passenger miles on U.S. air carriers were down 12 percent in June 2002 compared to June 2001. Spare capacity (measured in ton-miles) for domestic aviation increased nearly 8 percent in June 2002 compared to June of last year, while available ton-miles (I.e., capacity) increased 5 percent.   HTML
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Domestic flight stage length for large U.S. air carriers reached 709 miles in June 2002, breaking the 700 mile level for the first time in the 10 years tracked by this report.   HTML
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Excel
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CSV
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Air carrier’s real return on assets was –5 percent for the four quarters ending in September 2002, the lowest annual yield in the 10 years tracked by this report.   HTML
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Excel
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CSV
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Eighty-eight percent of scheduled flights by major U.S. passenger carriers arrived on-time in September 2002 for the best on-time arrival rate in the 15 years of available data. One month later, large U.S. passenger carriers scheduled operations increased 2 percent compared to October 2001, the first 12-month increase since August 2001.   HTML
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The producer price of scheduled air freight transportation increased nearly 9 percent in September 2002 compared to September 2001— reaching the second highest level in the 10 years tracked by this report. In October, the producer price of scheduled air freight transportation continued to increase— nearly 12 percent compared to October 2001.   HTML
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Excel
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Third-quarter air carrier real passenger revenue continued a sixth consecutive quarter of declines over the same quarter in the previous year, while real freight revenue increased for the second consecutive quarter. Between third-quarter 2001 and third-quarter 2002, real passenger revenue was down 7 percent while real freight revenue was up 8 percent.   HTML
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The cost of air travel to consumers was 2 percent lower in October 2002 compared to the previous month.   HTML
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Excel
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CSV
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Employment in for-hire air transportation decreased 0.35 percent in November 2002 compared to October—the lowest level since December 1997.   HTML
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Excel
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Jet fuel prices for October 2002 reached 80 cents per gallon, the highest level since February 2001.   HTML
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Other Private Industry        
Business investment in transportation equipment dropped 12 percent in the third quarter of 2002 compared to the third quarter of 2001— the lowest level in five years.   HTML
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The 2 percent decline in producer prices for transportation equipment in the 12 months ending in September 2002 was the largest decline in the 10 years tracked by this report. However, producer prices for transportation equipment were unchanged in October 2002 compared to October 2001.   HTML
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Excel
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CSV
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The October 2002 high for railroad passenger transportation producer prices was first reached in May and has remained at the May level for six consecutive months.   HTML
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Excel
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The 4 percent decline in producer prices for highway and street construction for the 12 months ending February 2002 was the largest decline in the 10 years tracked by this report and follows a similar decline for January 2002.   HTML
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Business inventory to sales ratio decreased almost one percent in July 2002 compared to the previous month—reaching the lowest level in the 10 years tracked by this report. This ratio remained flat in August, and increased almost one percent in September.   HTML
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Personal Spending on Transportation        
Consumers spent 10 percent more on motor vehicles and parts in the third quarter of 2002 compared to the previous quarter.   HTML
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The monthly increase for September 2002 in consumer prices for new cars and trucks of 0.5 percent was the second highest in the 10 years tracked by this report. The impact on consumers of the price increase for new vehicles was mitigated by a decline of 0.8 percent in prices for used cars and trucks and flat prices for motor vehicle maintenance and repair. One month later, the third largest monthly decline in prices for used cars and trucks occurred as consumers spent nearly 2 percent less on used cars and trucks than in October 2001.   HTML
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Since the beginning of 2002, light trucks have outsold cars every month except for May. Retail sales of cars were down 5 percent, light trucks were down 12 percent, and medium/heavy trucks up 22 percent in November 2002 compared to November 2001.   HTML
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By the beginning of December, retail gasoline prices (average for all grades) were 1.40 dollars per gallon—a 30-cent increase over December 2001 prices.   HTML
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Public Spending on Transportation        
Total federal expenditures on highway and street construction declined 11 percent in September 2002 (seasonally adjusted). However, public expenditures on land passenger transportation terminals jumped 33 percent in September (seasonally adjusted)— the highest level in the 9 years tracked by this report.   HTML
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Public expenditures on water transportation decreased almost 23 percent in October 2002 compared to October 2001—the lowest level since December 2000.   HTML
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Security        
Net petroleum imports increased 2 percent in October 2002 compared to October 2001, while petroleum products supplied (a proxy for consumption) decreased 2 percent over the same period. Domestic production was also down 4 percent during the same time period.   HTML
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Mobility        
Vehicle miles of travel increased 2 percent in July 2002 compared to July of last year— the highest level in the last 10 years tracked by this report.   HTML
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Excel
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CSV
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Amtrak ridership reached its highest level in July 2002 since August of last year with nearly 2.1 million passengers. However, ridership was still down 2 percent compared to July 2001.   HTML
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Excel
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Human and Natural Environment        
Transportation energy consumption dropped 4 percent in February 2002 compared to the same month last year— the lowest level since February 1999.   HTML
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Transportation energy use per dollar of GDP declined nearly 3 percent in the first quarter of 2002 compared to the first quarter of 2001— reaching the lowest level since the first quarter of 2000.   HTML
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Sampling, as well as non-sampling, errors may exist in the reported data.